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Gettysburg Students Work on Traveling Exhibit for Bicentennial Celebration

          April 27, 1999 - When Adams County residents celebrate the County's 200th birthday next year, one of their opportunities to learn about the area's history will be due to the work of Gettysburg College students.

          With funding provided by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Gettysburg College history professor Michael Birkner and professor emeritus Charles Glatfelter, executive director of the Adams County Historical Society, are coordinating research conducted by students to construct a traveling exhibit on the history of Adams County.

          "The project is being researched, designed and fabricated during the spring and fall semesters by students," Birkner said. "They'll work with the Adams County Historical Society to write papers and collect artifacts on a number of subjects, including life in a small town, demography, industry and tourism."

          Aynsley Hamel, a senior history and women's studies major from Pleasant Valley, Conn., is spending part of the spring semester researching the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.  "My group looked at the work that went into planning the celebration, how both the Pennsylvania and Federal governments helped out, some of the major events that occurred during the celebration and , overall, how the celebration went," she said.  "We chose five artifacts that we believed captured the celebration, including a picture of President Franklin D. Roosevelt giving a speech, a commemorative coin, a program, a map of the town that included events locations and a picture of the unveiling of the Peace Light."

          Sophomore Dave Shoffner of Westminster, Md., and his partner prepared a report on the demographics of Adams County from 1750 to 1875. "This included a four-page synopsis of the changes in the population and ethnicity of the county," he said.  "We also created two color maps from 1763 and 1807 that illustrated the location and density of different ethnic groups."

          The exhibit will be completed by December 1, 1999, according to Birkner.  "Students from the Historical Methods class will cover the remaining subjects in the fall and will fabricate the project," he said.  "Our hope is that the exhibit will travel to schools, libraries, banks and the College during the Bicentennial Celebration and help to educate people about the history of the county."

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Copyright 1999 Adams County Bicentennial Committee